The Best Way To Manage Irresponsible Kids

Wouldn't it be lovely to know that our kids did everything they were asked and were never irresponsible? I agree. But, let's get to that more in a moment.....

Today, each of us woke up with a specific spirit or attitude that will set the tone for our lives, our homes, and even our relationships with the Lord. 

What mood did you greet today with when you first woke up? Dread? Fear? Anxiety? Optimism? Joy? Weariness? Refreshment? Irritation?

This morning, as I made way to the bathroom sink, I saw what you see in the photo below. As you may have guessed, that's toothpaste stuck to the inside of the sink bowl.

I have talked many times to my kids about rinsing the sink out if they leave toothpaste there when they brush their teeth. But guess what? They still walk away leaving the sink like this at times!

I could, in this moment, let my eyes narrow, march down the hallway, and chastise my son for his mess. I could, perhaps, put on an attitude of resentment and wonder why no one EVER listens to me and ask them if I am their maid, throwing in a tone of self-pity and martyrdom. I could just clean it up myself allowing all the little things of the day get to me until I explode later.

Or, I could smile. I could see the toothpaste in the sink, not as an act of defiance but as evidence that my kids are obeying me in the greater thing--they are BRUSHING THEIR TEETH WITHOUT ME EVER ASKING! Hallelujah!!

I could think to myself that perhaps, in their immaturity, they need a gentle reminder about cleaning the sink out while they are at it. I could walk down the hallway and say:

"Son, I want you to know how much I appreciate that you brush your teeth every morning without me asking. I'm SO thankful for you and how responsible you are!" And later, when we both happen to be near the bathroom, I could kindly point out the toothpaste in the sink and I could smile lovingly and say, "Buddy, you know how much I love that you brush your teeth, but let's work on wiping the sink out too. Okay?"

The Bible affirms this idea:

"A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." (Proverbs 17:22)

It's all about the spirit in which we choose to see the everyday triggers around us. Are they moments and situations that cause us to sin in unrighteous or inappropriate anger, or are they OPPORTUNITIES as Wendy Speake and I talk about in our book, Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses, for us to grow in our own Fruit of the Spirit first--like being gentle, patient, and kind?

For me, I'm loving this dirty sink today! I'm SO thankful for clean teeth and my sweet boys who still have some training to do. I get to be the one to keep "coaching them along" on their path toward becoming the responsible and godly men God desires them to be. What a joy!!

 It's all in how we look at it. We can be triggered or we can be triumphant!

Let's put on a spirit that reflects the Fruit of the Spirit today. Let's search for and root out the good in our circumstances, knowing that God's plans for us are for our good, to prosper us and not to harm us. Let's allow that truth to put a spring in our step, and breathe life into our children!

Let's thank God for dirty sinks and clean teeth!

YOUR TURN! What's the tone of your day today? How can you make it a day you can rejoice in? What situation came up that you may need to rethink or approach differently next time so that you are living out the Fruit of the Spirit in your life and as a mom? What are you thankful for today?


Firehouse Garlic Bread

My awesome girlfriend, Jackie, made this garlic bread for our family one night and I knew that I was ruined forever. No other garlic bread compares! A firefighter friend passed it on to her, and now, as my part in making the world a much, much, better place, I pass it on to you!


1 cup of mayonnaise

½ cup of shredded mozzarella

½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese

1tsp  garlic powder

½ tsp dried basil

Loaf of sourdough or French bread, sliced lengthwise in half


In a medium sized bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, mozzarella, cheddar, garlic powder, and basil. Spread it evenly on the two halves of bread (Can’t be any easier, right?). Place the bread on a baking sheet and put it in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and then place it under the broiler for 5 minutes more or until brown on top!

P.S.This recipe is a huge hit with company. You may as well have the recipe printed out for guests because they WILL ask for it! And double the recipe, because once it’s been served, it will disappear quickly! Oh! And you will love this Italian Husband-Approved Minestrone Soup with this bread too! 


YOUR TURN! What’s your favorite meal to pair garlic bread with? 


As Long As It Takes, When You Feel Like Quitting Your Life

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” –Martin Luther King Jr.

Some of us reading this have raw knees from the crawling. It’s tempting to find a corner, rock back on our haunches, and allow the obstacles we face to loom over us like formidable centurions who block our path of progress.

This morning, we may very well have a multitude of reasons to quit this whole shabang.

Quit on ourselves.

Our husbands.

Our jobs.

Our friends.

Our church.

Our messy homes.

Our kids.

Our ministry.

Sometimes, the triggers become so flagrantly in our face that we want to give up. We cry with the Psalmist, "How long Oh Lord? Will you forget me forever?"

I have wanted to throw in the towel too. But, God.

He comes to me in these desperate, angry, helpless moments and He tells me tenderly that it will take AS LONG AS IT TAKES.

And then He lovingly asks ME the pointed question:

"Are YOU willing to persevere?"

"As long as it takes?"

He promises to never leave us or forsake us. He is a very present help in trouble. He will provide a way of escape from temptation. He will do a new thing....




Friends, are we willing to tarry along with our kids, our spouses, our ministries, etc. as long as it takes?

Will we walk when we cannot run? Crawl when we cannot walk? Perhaps, allow God to carry us when all else fails within?

Philippians 1:6 (ESV)
"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."

Let us not grow weary, for God never ever gives up on any one of us.

This post contains an affiliate link which means that any time you purchase a product through the link, Amazon gives me a few cents to help support my ministry at no extra cost to you! Thank you!


YOUR TURN! Are you running, walking, crawling, or being carried today? How can I pray for you?